Homestead Exemptions and Assessed Value
Beginning 4th Quarter of every year, your county tax appraisal district will send out the assessed value of your property and give you the opportunity to protest. Some you can file online, others you have to set an appointment. When you receive those notices and do not feel they are correct assessment or want them reduced, give me a call and I can do a comparative analysis of homes sold in your area similar to yours to see if their assessment is too high for the current market value. The goal is to keep your assessed value as low as possible as this is what they base the property tax rate on. In protest you have the ability to prove that your home value is not correct and hopefully get a reduction in the value. Appraised value is NOT THE SAME AS MARKET VALUE. As realtors, we DO NOT use that number as a basis for a homes market value. That is based on Comparative Sales in the Area.
Applying for Homestead and other Exemptions
Harris County – http://www.hcad.org
Montgomery County – http://mcad-tx.org
Fort Bend County – http://fbcad.org
Waller County – http://www.waller-cad.org
HOW YOU DECLARE A HOMESTEAD: Upon the purchase of a new home, you must call the appraisal district of the county in which you reside and request that they mail you the necessary forms for “Declaring Your Homestead” or go online at the above link for your county and follow their procedures for applying. You must be the owner as of January 1 of the year you are claiming the Homestead Exemption. The time period to apply runs Jan 1 – April 30 of that same year and is not retroactive if you miss the deadline. You must provide a copy of their driver’s license of state-issued identification card and a copy of your vehicle registration receipt. The addresses on those documents must match the address of the home on which the exemption is being sought. Those without vehicles must submit a notarized affidavit certifying that and must present a copy of a current utility bill with the same address.
There are several exemptions you may qualify for. Within each county the deduction amount and application requirements can vary. Other available exemptions can include Disabled Vet Status, Over 65 (year of age and can only be applied to one property at a time), wildlife, timber, farm and ranch, etc. Be sure to visit the website or call and visit your local office to see if you indeed qualify and how they are applied.
For more information, visit your local appraisal district for specific answers to common questions.